By  on August 18, 2006

NEW YORK — Spot on? If Dennis Gross has anything to say about it, it will be "spot off."

In October, his indie skin care brand, MD Skincare, will launch three new products specifically dealing with acne — but this isn't your seventh-grade pimple cream.

"There are two types of acne — flat and bumpy," said Gross, a New York University-trained dermatologist and skin cancer researcher who founded MD Skincare in 2000.

Why does that matter? "Flat acne, which is the beginning stage of acne, can be treated early — and that will minimize the chances that it will grow into bumpy acne," he said. In fact, he explained, flat acne can appear on the skin as many as 30 days before transforming into bumpy acne — acne that is inflamed and infected.

Given that acne can appear at any age — and can be made worse by factors like hard water — the market is "wide open," said Gross. "While prescription Accutane is effective in dealing with severe acne, it also carries a number of possible side effects and many doctors are reluctant to prescribe it. There is a real need for effective, topical, non-prescription solutions."

All-Over Blemish Solution is Gross' answer to flat acne. Although it employs an old favorite for dealing with acne, salicylic acid, it's the delivery system that's different this time, said Gross. A proprietary chelating complex blocks the actions of calcium and magnesium, which Gross said can cause one's own oils to form waxy plugs in the pores and cause breakouts. A potent form of salicylic acid then lifts the waxy plugs, while farnesol kills bacteria in the pores and bisabol (the active ingredient in chamomile) soothes redness and inflammation, Gross explained.

All-Over Blemish Solution will retail for $84 for 1.7 oz. It can be used by any skin type, although Gross recommends that dry and combination skin be treated once at night; oily skin can be treated in both the morning and the evening.

Correct and Perfect Spot Treatment targets bumpy acne as it appears on the surface of the skin. Gross explained that its formula is designed to pull blockage from the pores, "sort of like reverse osmosis." Sulfur is said to control the oil that feeds bacteria, while farnesol targets bacteria deep in the pores. It is $28 for 0.5 oz.

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